With the pandemic putting a damper on in-person events for Fire Prevention Week in Langley City, firefighters decided to take to YouTube to spread their annual message about being prepared.
This year, the fire crews put together a video in the form of a game show, Name That Safety Sound!
With Capt. Bob Perry as the host, two firefighters competed to identify the different sounds that alert people to fires.
It’s part of this year’s theme for Fire Prevention Week – Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety.
The noises of a smoke alarm, a carbon monoxide monitor, the siren on a fire truck, and even the sound of a firefighter’s breathing apparatus, a sound you might hear if you were inside a burning building and someone was on the way to rescue you.
In the video, the incorrect guess is “Darth Vader.”
“That’s the sound of firefighter’s breathing apparatus,” Perry says in the video. “Don’t be afraid and don’t hide.”
The final sound is the sound of a low battery in a smoke alarm, a reminder to replace the battery, or possibly the alarm itself if it’s 10 years old or more.
Every year around Fire Prevention Week, City firefighters have hosted events to try to bring more awareness to simple actions people can take, like testing smoke alarms and replacing their batteries.
Usually, that coincides with a big open house at the fire hall on 203rd Street.
Families come in by the dozens and kids get to wear fire helmets and climb on the fire trucks.
It’s been a very successful program over the years, but last year it had to be cancelled because of COVID-19. Fire prevention officer Capt. Brent Perry (no relation to his colleague Bob Perry) had hoped to bring back the open house this year again, as it seemed that COVID numbers were going down over the early summer as vaccination rates went up.
Unfortunately, the Delta wave means the firefighters have to be cautious again.
The need to keep crowds small and to protect firefighters from the possibility of infection had to outweigh holding the open house.
It’s sad for the kids in particular, who had always loved the event, Perry said.
“Just to see the kids’ faces,” he said. “They just light up.”
He also found the event gave a lot of adults the opportunity to ask questions.
Perry grew up with firefighter for a father, so preparedness was second nature to him – they always had a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, for example.
The City firefighters are still running one program that reaches out to kids, with the assistance and support of the Downtown Langley Business Association (DLBA).
Elementary schools across the City are doing fire drills this month, and as they send in forms following a completed fire drill, they become eligible to win a $200 gift certificate for school supplies provided by the DLBA.
There are other events taking place province-wide as well, including poster and video contests for students that are supported by the Office of the Fire Commissioner, First Nations’ Emergency Services Society, the BC Burn Fund, and Fire Prevention Officers’ Association of BC. visit the Fire Commissioners’ website at www.gov.bc.ca/FirePreventionWeek.
You can also find more information about how the deaf and hard of hearing can pick up on warnings usually based on sound, using strobe light fire alarms and bed shakers.
Fire Prevention Week runs from Oct. 3 to 9 this year, but the online contests have a deadline for entry of Oct. 22.
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